Pitcher Cole Hamels agreed on a one-year, $15 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, avoiding what would have been his final year of arbitration.
Center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, runner-up in voting for the American League Most Valuable Player last season, re-signed with the Boston Red Sox on a one-year deal. Right-handers Joba Chamberlain and David Robertson both agreed on one-year contracts to stay with the New York Yankees.
Today was the day for figures to be exchanged between the 142 Major League Baseball players who filed for arbitration and their teams. If the sides are unable to reach agreement, an arbitrator will decide whether to accept the bid of either the player or his club.
A player with six or more years of major-league service who is not already under contract for the following season is eligible to become a free agent.
Hamels, a 28-year-old left-hander, was an All-Star last season, posting a 14-9 record with a career-best 2.79 earned run average, three complete games, 194 strikeouts and 44 walks as the Phillies went a major league-best 102-60 during the regular season.
The Phillies were unable to reach agreement on a long-term deal with Hamels, who could test free agency after the season. He is joined by former Cy Young Award winners Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee in a pitching rotation that had a major-league best 3.02 ERA last season. Halladay, 34, is under contract through 2013 and Lee, 33, through 2015.
Phillies right-hander Kyle Kendrick, who has been used both as a starter and reliever, avoided arbitration by agreeing on a one-year, $3.6 million contract on Jan. 13. Starters Vance Worley and Joe Blanton are also on the major-league roster.
Philadelphia infielder Wilson Valdez signed a one-year contract worth $930,000, the Phillies said in a statement. Hunter Pence is the only Phillies’ player still eligible for arbitration.
The team today separately announced the signing of right-hander Joel Pineiro to a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training. The 33-year-old Pineiro went 7-7 with a 5.13 ERA in 27 games last season for the Los Angeles Angels.
Ellsbury, 28, was named AL Comeback Player of the Year last season after batting .321 with career highs of 46 doubles, 32 home runs, 119 runs and 105 runs batted in.
The Red Sox also agreed on a one-year contract with 30-year-old infielder Mike Aviles, who batted .317 in 38 games last season.
Chamberlain went 2-0 with a 2.83 ERA in 27 relief appearances for the Yankees in 2011 before elbow surgery on June 16. Robertson led all AL relievers with a 1.08 ERA in 70 appearances, posting a 4-0 record. Contract terms weren’t disclosed for either pitcher.